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Old 23.02.2017, 12:41
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Threatened with a knife: What to do?

Dear all,

TLDR: I already went to the police, my question is more on your experience.

Today morning I had quite an unpleasant trip to work. This one guy was apparently signaling to join my lane, and I honestly didn't realize. He eventually managed to join and when I realized my mistake, I rose my hand to say sorry. He then started shouting and flipped me the finger as a response. Being mad, I shouted a bit too and eventually flipped him the bird myself. We then drove for a while until we reached a traffic light. I was in another lane and when I stopped, he changed lanes, came behind me and stopped. At this point I thought it is just a random guy wanting to shout at me. But no. He came with a "combat" knife and tapped my window and started shouting nonsense. I memorized his licence number and called the police and filed an "informal" complaint. The police officer gave me an appointment for tomorrow morning to file the official complaint.

I believe it is absolutely NOT OK for someone to do something like this and get away with it. But I was thinking if this guy got so mad about a mistake I made (and even apologized), who knows what he might do when he gets a letter from the police that I filed a complaint against him where my name is written etc...

Did anyone have an experience on what happens after you file a threat complaint to someone? Does the guy just stop or does he become more obsessed? I would appreciate any input you might have!
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Old 23.02.2017, 12:46
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

If he threatens you again, tell him that you have friends who seek revenge if he dares harm you. You've given them his name, number and details in case anything happens. He will also lose his job if you are harmed in any way.

Thanks for sharing and let this be a lesson for all of us that there are truly nut cases on the road.
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Old 23.02.2017, 12:51
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

I've no idea how the subhuman will respond, but I do know that if an allegation is made that someone was threatened with a weapon then the plod are legally required to follow it up completely, even if you don't want to press charges yourself. (As it should be, imo.)
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Old 23.02.2017, 12:56
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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I believe it is absolutely NOT OK for someone to do something like this and get away with it. But I was thinking if this guy got so mad about a mistake I made (and even apologized), who knows what he might do when he gets a letter from the police that I filed a complaint against him where my name is written etc...

Did anyone have an experience on what happens after you file a threat complaint to someone? Does the guy just stop or does he become more obsessed? I would appreciate any input you might have!
Tell the police exactly this and ask if they have a mechanism in place whereby your identity is not given. For all you know, this guy is already known to the police.
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:03
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

Dear all,

Thank you for your messages. I am still determined that this incident should go through a legal process. I asked the police officer and she told me that in the invitation letter he will receive to explain himself, it will be written that I filed a complaint against him. And to be honest I am not too much stressed about it since if he also took my licence plate, he can find my name and home address as well.

I am just wondering how psycho a person can be, since I cannot empathize with his behaviour and intent at all.
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:15
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

First of all, I'm sorry to hear you had this experience, what an idiot, I totally understand your reaction and you were right to inform the police.

Regarding flipping the bird, be careful, there is a court case that really gave me pause for thought. A few years ago, some youths hurled abuse at a guy and pregnant wife in their car in a parking garage; as he drove past them slowly, he rolled down his window and flipped them the bird. The guys then ran after the car, opened the driver's door and beat him senseless. The driver's insurance decided that he was partly to blame for being beaten up, so they would only pay half of the treatment costs incurred by the beating, which the driver did not accept. The cantonal court agreed with the driver, saying that he was a blameless victim and that the extreme violence bore no relation to what he had done after being provoked. The insurance took it to the federal court, who agreed with the insurance, stating that the driver's life experience should have told him that he had to expect the violent reaction since that is how the world is today (or something to that extent).

While I understand the extreme application of "der Klügere gibt nach" (the more intelligent person acquiesces (???)), I am certainly not one for carefully measuring up my response in situations like that. It seems harsh to blame someone for a brief moment of petulance and probably a desire to show he's a tough guy in front of his pregnant wife in the face of outright provocation. But then I am not terribly good at the whole "adulting" thing.

I suspect that the other driver was already wound up and generally in an aggressive mindset (why else would he have a knife in his car?), so he may have interpreted your innocent hand gesture as flipping the bird. Or maybe he is just a really angry individual who needs to compensate for some perceived lack of masculinity (again, why carry a knife?).
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:20
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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why carry a knife?
I always do, though the large 10" chef's knife I normally keep in the trunk.

Tom
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:22
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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I always do, though the large 10" chef's knife I normally keep in the trunk.

Tom
Sure, but you have to admit, threatening someone with a fresh butchered sheep head is waaaay more effective.
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:25
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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I always do, though the large 10" chef's knife I normally keep in the trunk.

Tom
I always have a Victorinox knife on me too, but it sounds like this was the Rambo/Crocodile Dundee style of knife.

Also, I think we have conclusively established that you are... different.
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:25
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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Sure, but you have to admit, threatening someone with a fresh butchered sheep head is waaaay more effective.
Not if they're actually like Tom. They'd say thanks and cook it.
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:32
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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Dear all,

Thank you for your messages. I am still determined that this incident should go through a legal process. I asked the police officer and she told me that in the invitation letter he will receive to explain himself, it will be written that I filed a complaint against him. And to be honest I am not too much stressed about it since if he also took my licence plate, he can find my name and home address as well.

I am just wondering how psycho a person can be, since I cannot empathize with his behaviour and intent at all.
I had a similar thing once, the guy opened my door at the red-light - no knife - and threatened me. He was just being macho and as I was obviously not impressed it ended up in a struggle between me trying to pull the door close and him keeping it open (he of course won, I pulled a muscle, darn). Guess he got bored and effed off. Only after I realized I should have sat on the hooter to attract as many vitnesses as possible - preferably some other machos who would have given him a bit of his own medecine.

Two things: Know that those types "smell" fear, so don't show any when these things happen. BUT: Clearly tell the police that you were very afraid - as if you wern't they won't proceede the case.

An other thing (too late for this case now) you can "block" your number plates. If you do only police etc. can get information based on them. I had to do that once unfortunately and never changed it back.
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:34
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

Actually, I would appreciate a nicely cooked lamb head right now.

Btw, Kittster also has a point. I think my lesson from this incident is that I need to be even more calm from this point on. And carry a pepperspray for absolute emergencies!
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:37
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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Not if they're actually like Tom. They'd say thanks and cook it.
WADR, methinks you have understood my insinuation completely bass ackwards.

Imagine you've flipped the bird to some biker, and he stops, retrieves a bloody sheep head from his pannier and walks up to your window shaking it at you. Even if the "Hello Kitty" leathers aren't enough to convince you that you might not be dealing with a conventional being, would the sheep's head make you think: "Now that's someone I think I could have an enlightened conversation with!"?
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:39
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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I had a similar thing once, the guy opened my door at the red-light - no knife - and threatened me. He was just being macho and as I was obviously not impressed it ended up in a struggle between me trying to pull the door close and him keeping it open (he of course won, I pulled a muscle, darn). Guess he got bored and effed off. Only after I realized I should have sat on the hooter to attract as many vitnesses as possible - preferably some other machos who would have given him a bit of his own medecine.

Two things: Know that those types "smell" fear, so don't show any when these things happen. BUT: Clearly tell the police that you were very afraid - as if you wern't they won't proceede the case.

An other thing (too late for this case now) you can "block" your number plates. If you do only police etc. can get information based on them. I had to do that once unfortunately and never changed it back.

Although too late for this case, I already filled out the form to block my licence plate number. Also you are right about the fear smelling thing. I was definitely scared (that's why the police took it seriously I believe) but I don't know how my face looked like during the event, it could be anything between a poker face and a "don't kill me" face.
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:51
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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why carry a knife?.
A real Swiss man always carries a knife. A Swiss army knife ofcourse. You don't know that? Did you get your red passport yet?!
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Old 23.02.2017, 13:57
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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I had a similar thing once, the guy opened my door at the red-light .
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The guys then ran after the car, opened the driver's door and beat him senseless.
Am I the only one that has been so thoroughly indoctrinated by American movies from the 80's that I either close the doors as soon as I get inside, or simply have the automatic system on, to avoid such things?
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Old 23.02.2017, 14:00
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

I had not such a violent incident but also an aggression in Zurich.

Got off the train in Zurich HB onto a crowded platform which apparently angered the guy walking behind me, who gave me a sharp kick on the heel. I ignored this and carried on walking so he did it again, but harder. I turned round to tell him to lay off and received his fist flying hard into my face.

He split my lip and (I found out later) broke a tooth. Not knowing how to react and with my ears ringing and blood pouring down my chin, I called 117 and got the cops. They told me to come to the police station in HB and that we would sort it out. By this time my attacker, was on his way to work so I caught up with him and told him to come to the cops with me but you can imagine his answer. So, having a GA ticket I decided to follow him, I also told him that I would come into his office and call the cops from there.

After a few more insults and threats he finally decided it was a better idea to go to the cops.

Final result was that he admitted full liability and paid me Fr 2'000 and all my medical / dental costs to drop the case as it would have meant an entry on his criminal record and he didn't want this for professional reasons.

The cops told me I did exactly the right thing although one of them said that if it had been a dark night and no witnesses around I could have also beaten the crap out of the guy.
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Old 23.02.2017, 14:08
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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Am I the only one that has been so thoroughly indoctrinated by American movies from the 80's that I either close the doors as soon as I get inside, or simply have the automatic system on, to avoid such things?
I'm known for driving old cars .... there was no automatic system.
I got that in my present car and - as far as I know - it unlocks when you stop fully. And I do stop at red lights. There is a button I could push it seems but I'm not the paranoid type (not enough American movies) so I don't.
Actually, talking about paranoid: I'm more worried about those doors that now lock themselves as I learnt that you should never lock the doors when driving as it's a real pain in the a**e for the rescue people to get you out after an accident - not to mention what it is for you when they can't in time. So think twice before you bunker yourself into your car.
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Old 23.02.2017, 14:10
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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A real Swiss man always carries a knife. A Swiss army knife ofcourse. You don't know that? Did you get your red passport yet?!
Well, I am a woman, but see my comment above, I always carry my Swiss army knife; however, I don't really consider it a knife as such, but a useful tool. Essential equipment, really.
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Old 23.02.2017, 14:11
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Re: Threatened with a knife: What to do?

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Well, I am a woman, but see my comment above, I always carry my Swiss army knife; however, I don't really consider it a knife as such, but a useful tool. Essential equipment, really.
You do know it is illegal in England to carry a Swiss army knife in your pocket?
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